Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Cardinals righty Frederis Parra.
Hitter of the Night: Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (Tampa, A+): 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR.
Judge continues to prove that he’s an all-around complete hitter rather than just a hulking slugger with holes in his swing. His combination of a plus eye at the plate and unforced power for which he doesn’t have to sell out allows him to attack pitchers with a balanced approach and let his natural size and strength do the work for him.
Pitcher of the Night: Frederis Parra, RHP, Cardinals (GCL, R): 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K.
Parra has some of the best stuff I’ve seen all season, especially for an 18-year-old, though he’s still learning how to bring it to the park each time out. He has the stuff to miss bats, but he doesn’t always do it, though he’s remained effective even when he doesn’t. As soon as he learns to be more consistent from start to start, he’ll move quickly.
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After unveiling their prospect lists last week, Ben and Craig reveal those who just missed, plus dark horses, and surprising exclusions.
Last week, Craig and I each gave a breakdown of our top 50 dynasty prospects, doing our best Bret Sayre impressions as we looked for a cause to discuss where 2014 draftees should rank, how some recent injuries have impacted the dynasty landscape and more.
We have some of the reasoning behind our rankings in last week’s post, and we further discussed our feelings in last week’s episode of TINO, too. But there’s always more to talk about when it comes to rankings, and so Craig and I have decided to milk this subject for all it’s worth this week as well.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Mariners first baseman D.J. Peterson and Red Sox righty Anthony Ranaudo.
Hitter of the Night: D.J. Peterson, 1B, Mariners (Jackson, AA): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR.
Peterson is looking every bit like the impact bat the Mariners were hoping he was when they selected him 12th overall last year. His production hasn't been quite the same since a promotion to Double-A, but that's to be expected after leaving the California League behind.
Pitcher of the Night: Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox (Pawtucket, AAA): 6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K.
Ranaudo has had a cup of coffee this year helping to plug the holes in the Red Sox’ leaking starting rotation, but his iffy command profile will probably result in him spending more time in a big-league bullpen. When he throws strikes, however, he can be highly effective in any capacity. Command has always been an issue for the big right-hander, who struggles at times to repeat his delivery.
Taijuan Walker nabs the no. 1 spot in the last top 20 of the season.
It’s been another very fun season of writing the Stash List, but all such things must come to an end. This will be the final installment of the 2014 season, so I hope it’s been helpful to you guys, and let’s do it again in 2015, shall we?
The Graduates: Dexter Fowler (2), Mookie Betts (3), Michael Pineda (4), Rafael Montero (6)
Fowler has returned with a vengeance from his intercostal strain, hitting .389/.522/.556 in his first five games back. I like him to close the season strong in an improving offense. The news was relatively sour on Betts until Monday, when Jackie Bradley Jr. was sent back down to Triple-A because his ineptitude at the plate finally overshadowed his delightfulness in the field. Betts should be playing pretty close to every day for the foreseeable future, and should be improved over his first stint, but don’t expect the light bulb to just turn on brightly. Off days for the Yankees have given Pineda some extra rest after his first start back—which was a positive sign—and he won’t toe the rubber for the second time since returning until Wednesday. The upside is still high, especially if you’re chasing strikeouts. Meanwhile, elsewhere in New York City, Montero is trying his hardest to satisfy the Mets faithful who really wanted to see Noah Syndergaard instead. He followed a weak start against the Nationals with a strong one against the Cubs, and fortunately for Montero, the Mets have a reasonably tame schedule the rest of the way.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Cubs shortstop Addison Russell and Astros righty Nick Tropeano.
Hitter of the Night: Addison Russell, SS, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out for the Cubs, who have more shortstop depth than any organization in recent memory. Starlin Castro’s reemergence has pushed Javier Baez to second base, but Russell could be a more complete (note that choice of words very carefully) player than either of them.
Pitcher of the Night: Nick Tropeano, RHP, Astros (Oklahoma City, AAA): 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K.
Tropeano has done all he can to prove himself in the minors, which has included showing that he can continue to miss bats at the highest level despite a mediocre fastball. The key to that is a plus changeup, which can be the great equalizer for any pitcher. It’s not a high ceiling, but he’s going to be a major league pitcher, and there’s no reason he can’t stick at the back end of a rotation for a while.
Notes on prospects who stood out over the weekend, including Brandon Nimmo, Eloy Jimenez, and Raimel Tapia.
Friday, August 15th
Jesmuel Valentin, 2B, Dodgers (Great Lakes, A-): 3-4, 2 R, 3B, HR. Valentin is getting his footing back this season after a struggle last year in his first full season and is holding his own as a 20-year-old in the Midwest League.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Indians outfielder James Ramsey and Astros righty Vincent Velasquez.
Hitter of the Night: James Ramsey, OF, Indians (Columbus, AAA): 5-5, R, 2 2B, HR.
There are questions about whether Ramsey can be an everyday player given that he may end up in a corner outfield spot and may not develop the power required to handle it, but he’s shown a major league bat thus far and just had his first breakout game in Triple-A. His road to the majors will be much easier to traverse with the Indians than it had been with the Cardinals.
Pitcher of the Night: Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Astros (Lancaster, A+): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K.
When we give pitchers free passes for struggling in the California League, it’s important to remember that not all of them do. Velasquez is one who has not, missing more than a bat per inning while flashing two potential plus pitches. His 2.92 ERA this season proves that it can be done, as he continues to progress as a potential mid-rotation starter.
The tool for tracking the current top prospects, reviewing prospects from past seasons, and following your team tracker teams across all levels.
With the minor-league seasons winding down, many are turning their attention more and more to prospects—both those who are likely to get called up and those who are still a ways away. Prospect Tracker was announced early in 2012, and some new features were added last season to make it even more powerful.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Pirates infielder JaCoby Jones and Dodgers lefty Julio Urias.
Hitter of the Night: JaCoby Jones, SS, Pirates (West Virginia, A-): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 K.
There are two ways to look at Jones. On the one hand, he’s on pace to be a 20/20 shortstop, which is impressive and rare. On the other hand, he’s probably not going to remain a shortstop by the time he gets to the majors and there are enough questions about his pull-happy, aggressive hit tool to wonder how much his raw power and athleticism will play. Jones does a lot of things well on a baseball field, so there’s a future here, but his adjustments between now and the big leagues will determine his role and his ceiling.
Pitcher of the Night: Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers (Rancho Cucamunga, A+): 5 IP, 6 H, R, BB, 9 K.
This is the California League, yet Urias, who has been 18 years old for all of two days now, has a 2.86 ERA through 72 1/3 innings of work. If he were an American teenager, he’d be entering his senior of high school. Instead, he’s flashing three present average-or-better pitches and dominating the toughest pitchers’ league in the world.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Dodgers outfielder Scott Schebler and Cardinals righty Alex Reyes.
Hitter of the Night: Scott Schebler, OF, Dodgers (Chattanooga, AA): 3-3, 3 R, 3 HR, BB.
There are questions about Schebler’s hit tool, bat speed, and approach, but he’s answered them thus far against minor league pitching, backing up a strong California League performance in 2013 with a good season in Double-A this year. As a left-field-only defensive player, the pressure is on his bat, but he does punish mistakes better than many hitters can.
Pitcher of the Night: Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals (Peoria, A-): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K.
Reyes has had a start like this brewing in him all season, he just needed to throw enough strikes to make it happen. The talented youngster has had issues getting the ball over the plate this season, but he hasn’t had issues getting hit around. He’s kept the ball in the yard and missed more than enough bats. He simply needs to throw more strikes. His inconsistent command is holding him back at this point, but it’s not egregious enough for a 19-year-old to cause major concern with an arm like Reyes’s.
The DD duo unveils its current prospect rankings and takes a few jabs at each other about them.
When Bret isn’t busy ruining our lives by creating the Bat Signal, he’s busy ranking things. Like, everything. I mean, look at this.
meme courtesy of @EricNeville
He actually made that ranking. It stunk.
Anyway, the Appels didn’t fall far from the tree (name humor) in this family, and sometimes we get the urge to rank things ourselves. Okay, fine, Ben gets the urge and I get a nervous breakdown. Nonetheless, what follows is at top 50 fantasy prospect ranking from each of us, and then an ensuing squabble about who did what wrong.